China's non-financial outbound direct investment (ODI) rose sharply in the first seven months of 2015, thanks to fewer government restrictions and strong ODI increases in countries including the United States, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Friday.
The ODI rose at a brisk pace in the January-July period, with the amount surging 20.8 percent to 63.5 billion U.S. dollars, said Zhou Liujun, director of the MOC's Department of Outward Investment and Economic Cooperation.
Chinese companies' ODI to the United States and countries in the Belt and Road regional infrastructure and trade network spearheaded the rise, with ODI in the period increasing 35.8 percent to 3.83 billion dollars to the world's largest economy and 58.5 percent to 7.39 billion dollars in countries in the network, he told reporters.
The Belt and Road refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, proposed by China in 2013 with the goal of boosting trade and investment between Asia and Europe. The network incorporates more than 60 countries and regions, with a total population of 4.4 billion.
China revised an ODI regulation last October, streamlining procedures and allowing domestic enterprises to invest in more sectors abroad.
China's ODI is expected to expand 10 to 15 percent for the whole year compared with 2014, said Zhou, adding that the MOC is continuing to simplify approval and cancellation procedures for companies to invest overseas.
China became a net capital exporter for the first time last year when ODI outnumbered foreign direct investment (FDI). ODI grew 14.1 percent in 2014, eclipsing the 1.7-percent FDI growth.